Sunday, 28 June 2009

Banned (again) from TotalWar Forum

Not only have I lost £33 buying a piece-of-shit game from Creative Assembly, Empire:TW - they keep banning me from their forum, deleting my posts, and generally stomping over anything that goes "too far". Of course it's a game forum, and it's the official one, so one doesn't expect it to be a riot, and there are children likely present too. But what is going "too far" exactly? A lot of legitimate criticism of CA is effectively censored because of the mods' leeway for interpretation of the rules, which are so contrived that any moderator can arbitrarily declare someone is "trolling and flaming", and by so doing, have cause to ban them.

The latest episode which led to my ban is quite revealing of a shocking sort of mentality. I was banned - presumably for trolling and flaming, but I don't know for sure, as no reason has yet been given despite my requests.

What happened? Well, I took umbrage when a poster suggested violent, criminal behaviour - vigilantism. Mine was the only voice raised in protest at a poster whom had claimed he'd once taken revenge on someone when he was younger: someone had taken his bicycle so the poster had beaten them up, and listened to them "squeal like a pig". The poster claimed this was "a fun afternoon", and also revealed that in his profession today he is "only" armed with a truncheon and pepper spray - so he's a security guard, cop, or some such.

The result was getting myself banned again, a post of mine was deleted and no action whatsoever was taken against the posters whom had endorsed criminal behaviour as revenge against theft. The poster concerned had even justified themselves on the grounds that the victims were "scumbags" and had "broken the law". Never mind that vigilantism is "breaking the law" and that violence outside of necessary self-defence is also a crime............?

Here's part of the exchange for which I was banned.......remnants of it are here, for now at least.
MATRAY: Bahahahaha. I had a haro group 1 freestyle thast got stolen off when i was 15. I was only small at the time and basically they just took it off me and nobody cared. 6 months later I had a growth spurt and towered over that fat %%%+$@! as i saw him walking with a notherHe didnt recognise me til after I had kicked 6 colours of s#*t through him. Took my bike back and nobody in the neighbourhood ever heard from that guy again.

But I busted one of my fingers and it still isnt the same. But every time I look at that wonky knuckle I think back to that guy screaming like a stuck pig and think what a fun afternoon that was.

There is probably some morale to this whole episode but I cant be bothered looking into it.
My response, quoting Matray:
M: nobody in the neighbourhood ever heard from that guy again.
TLNL: probs coz you killed him.
M: every time I look at that wonky knuckle I think back to that guy screaming like a stuck pig and think what a fun afternoon that was.
TLNL: hmmm. fun? and that's the last time you engaged in violence, right? tsk.
M: There is probably some morale to this whole episode but I cant be bothered looking into it.
TLNL: no e in moral. not much room for violence either.
Matray replied, and I replied again, saying much the same thing - calmly. I offered that violence is violence, a crime, two wrongs don't make a right.....etc. Pretty reasonable argument, I thought.

Matray had suggested he wasn't violent.......hell! - he was just an ordinary guy.......
Oh and just so you know I am not a violent guy I am just an ordinary schmo.
In my repy, I'd said:

Ummm.....ordinary schmo's aren't violent guys? They are, aren't they?

Maybe, in fact, you're a little too keen to "help the little guy"? Maybe in fact it's an expression of your willingness to engage in violence, and it gives you something of an excuse, and maybe even a way to exorcise your own past and to take some revenge for the violence inflicted upon you when you were "picked on"? I don't know - I'm just saying btw. Hopefully you're not like that, but I don't know - I'm just responding to what you've written.

You'll perhaps feel I'm picking on you now? That's understandable, so sorry about. But I'm not - I'm only taking the opportunity to condemn violence - that's all. It's really not "fun". And it is related to the topic at hand. We wouldn't want to encourage aceblazer to use violence to take revenge on someone he suspected of having stolen his bike, would we? Well, I certainly wouldn't.
Pretty straightforward argument imo. "Ordinary guys" are violent? And it isn't a stretch to imagine someone so obviously enthused by his violent revenge to be harbouring a violent streak. I mean, the dude explained his work involved violence.

Then Bloodbane replied, offering
Bloodbane15: If someone picked on me and stole my personal property i would definitely beat the stuffing out of him, and probably gloat about it too.
Serves the person right for being a dirtbag.

..........If you dont be a prick and you dont break the law then you should have nothing to worry about.

I also think you are reading to deeply into matrays comment about it being "a fun afternoon", the meaning i saw behind that comment was that matray enjoyed finally being able to put that scumbag in his place not necessarily that he enjoyed being violent.
I responded again, around the point Robert Bolt famously makes in the play A Man for All Seasons:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper:Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More:
Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Meaning, of course, that one cannot disregard the law to take revenge: the law is there to protect one's self against violence, and it applies to everyone. Discarding such laws for the sake of one's own wishes actually jeapordises one's self (and everyone else).

How such an argument can cause offence at a game forum, which has children present, and even censors swearing is hard to imagine. It condemns violence and vigilantism, and supports the law. Not exactly controversial, I thought.

However, my post was greeted by the moderator, daelin, thus:
Read the forums rules again and again until you understand it. Until then, you clearly need another ban.
Funny sort of standards. I'm banned, and censored - but there's silence and inaction over the advocation of violent and criminal retribution. Well, ain't that brilliant?

Condoning and advocating violent criminal behaviour is more acceptable than "flaming and trolling"? And of course, it seems protesting against violent criminal behaviour constitutes "trolling and flaming". So, no surprise to get banned for it then, eh?

Ah - you gotta love real standards.

Anyway - simple point is, vigilantism and violence are both criminal behaviour.

Empire is still total crap.

And that forum is a joke.


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